A struggle with a smile…

I don’t have any children and it is not by choice.

I have gone through different phases where I have been in denial and almost convinced myself that I don’t want them. Then there were times when I was so desperate and depressed that I decided to go to any lengths (within reason…god knows what that is though) just so that I could have a baby to call my own.

I actually did get a surgery done which was recommended by 4 different doctors but shortly after, ended up in the hospital. The doctors said this was a ‘rarest of rare case’.

I still didn’t lose hope and went through months of treatment, pouring in money and injecting hormones in my bloodstream that made my temper brewing hot and me always near tears.

There were times when it was an injection every other day for more than 20 days, I was popping more pills than food and I almost felt like an animal that was being worked on, just so that it could do what any ordinary female body should be able to do…reproduce.

With a new puncture in my bottom every other day, and the ultrasound stick probing my innards frequently I had almost stopped feeling anything, shame or embarrassment. It was a mechanical process that I just had to go through every month and then wait agonizingly for two weeks only to hysterically weep when the red devil rose its head, and I bled. But hope remained.

One miscarriage and countless failed attempts have failed to numb me out and I’m still a rollercoaster of unbridled emotions. Maybe I need help…or maybe I am okay. I don’t know anymore…

It didn’t happen. It hasn’t happened yet and every single day I oscillate between hope, desperation, denial, hormones, pain, blood, medicines, mood swings, and so much more that I don’t have the vocabulary for (I write for a living by the way!)

I put a brave face on every morning, I get up, go about my daily routine and join in the humdrum of every day as it is…

I smile more than most people I know… trying hard…not to tell them that everytime someone asks me about it, my heart breaks a little, I feel a void in the middle of my gut that would never go away, and every single time I hear the dreaded question, I feel like someone punched me right in the middle of my stomach and knocked the wind out of me…all this without missing a beat and while answering the question with a smile on my face.

Such is life…

Are you eating… Again?

As someone who has struggled with her weight all her life, I have been subjected to a lot of abuse and ridicule… emotional mostly. The worst part about this was that most of the times the perpetrators had no clue about the hurt they were causing and the impact they had on the psyche of a girl of 6, 9, 13, 18, 30… Well doesn’t matter what age.

They assumed, without any proof that they were doing it for “my own good”. Little did they know that they were, in fact contributing to the shaping up of an insecure individual with a dangerously low self esteem. The stubborn streak and the acrid tongue she developed was an acquired defence mechanism. A metaphorical mask that shrouded all the emotions brimming forever, precariously balanced and always at the risk of spilling over.

Today, at 34, I am trying to gain back my confidence, but irreparably it is inextricably linked to my body weight and the current dress size.

Independence Day

Independence Day…what does it mean anymore? We are relieved that it is a chhutti and I am sad that for TD it is not an off! Come to think of it, the meaning of Independence Day has dwindled since we have stepped out of the education setup. We are increasingly turning into herds and are being shepherded by people who may not even be qualified to do so! I had always wondered what it meant to be independent, is it any different from being free? Independence, I do understand to an extent, however when it comes to freedom, I do have my doubts. To me freedom needs to be absolute, it cannot be conditional, it cannot be partial, and it certainly cannot be under governance.

I am sure if you were to go by my definition of the word, you would not deem anyone on the face of this earth to be free! As human beings, we have even taken to take that freedom away from nature and sometimes in our own fancy world, even God! We are always assuming and preaching that if we do this, God would be appeased. God wanted this to happen, God would help you, God would punish you, God would listen to you… Wo are we to decide what God would do in response to what we are doing? Anyway, that’s not what I was getting to!

Humans are the only species I know that has managed to take away freedom from anyone, their own species, other species, even nature! We are building dams to hold water against her will! We are cutting down trees, changing river current, and even felling mountains, only because it is inconvenient.

Now I am no one to say what is wrong, what is right, but it is Independence Day, and I am musing about independence and freedom as concepts. As a nation, do we ever become independent? Can we really run the way we are running without depending on any other entity? Foreign trade, travel, international commerce and so many other things that may be beyond the scope of my understanding are the very concepts that defy the concept of an independent nation. Even the US who we deem as a superpower (though I don’t know why?) are a nation that depends heavily on others, for a million reasons. So what does it mean to be an independent nation? I wonder!

It’s tough…

It’s tough to share what I go through, almost every day.

People tell me to be patient, some tell me that I exaggerate things…

But it is I who goes through it. I’m lonely…there! I said it!

Yes, I’m lonely. Among the hullabaloo at work, in the cacophony of street noises…at home… I’m lonely.

I look for solace, here and there… I find it at times…but that’s momentary, and more often than not, I’m lonely.

I long for touch, I long for a deep conversation, I long for a cup of tea shared over mundane things… I long for company.

I’m lonely, and it’s not for dramatic effect I say this, I am lonely and it’s tough being me…

Defaming the Gods and ‘Insaan’

We as Indians have always chosen to put our faith (mostly blind faith) in numbers. If numbers support someone, it or he or she must be right.

What is it that makes us abandon all forms of logic and reason and turn into robotic chess pieces?

We have chosen to call ourselves a part of the intelligent form of life on earth, why then do we abandon good sense in favour of blind faith?

What kind of insecurities do we as a community harbour among us that self styled godmen can easily manipulate it for vested interests?

Why are we so quick to resort to violence when advocating for things that can’t be supported and explained by logic?

And as a good friend questioned, were these supporters so confident of their leader’s guilt that they only brought arms and arson material but no sweets or flowers to celebrate his innocence?

Where are we headed as a nation? Where is the value system that we are supposedly so proud of?

Why have we resorted to thrashing people up whenever anyone contests our belief? What happened to the diversity that we were so proud of?

Now we have lost all respect for judiciary as well! The ruling government representatives are questioning the judiciary because their findings are not in line with the ‘believers’!

They’re justifying heinous acts of violence, even encouraging it while directly threatening the judiciary of dire consequences!

It isn’t failure of governance, maybe it is exactly what the intent was, and in that case they have succeeded fabulously.

Back to life

So this weird week is over! Independence day celebration, Janamashtami, and a stint in the hospital later, I’m ready to get back to my life.

Everyone has their struggles and only those who go through it can truly tell the tale. It was a scary week where I was shaken up by my own fragility and vulnerability. It was a humbling experience that made me realise, how little I truly do for myself and how much I ignore myself… well lesson learnt the hard way!

Lying in the hospital bed first, then in my own bed, it became increasingly clear the hardship of bed rest is not for me.

The biggest realisation though is how much my family means to me and whay they’d not do just to make my life easy!

The proverbial Monday blues!

So I get up this morning and want to flop back on the bed desperately, as the last night’s or rather the weekend’s fatigue has caught up with me just now

Social obligations and get togethers kept me in my toes all through the weekend barely allowing me any respite. So this morning sitting atop the inviting bed I stared enviously at my husband man who has the luxury to sleep the first half of the day before going to work in the American hours. As I drag myself out of the bed, I have a serious case of the Monday blues and now I’m late!

I love doing what I do! I love my job, I have a great team in office to work with, and this is what puzzles me the most! Why do I then have the Monday blues?

As I sat in the cab wading it’s way through the traffic, I’m sure I am at least 15 minutes late and I hate that! I wonder about my blues and stumble upon this chain of thoughts that led me to all that I really wanted to do this weekend! Also, I realised it is this dissatisfaction that gave me the blues!

If only I’d caught on some lost sleep, if only I’d gone grocery shopping, if only I’d rearranged my messed up wardrobe, if only… It is a series of these if onlys that makes my Mondays so blue!

I plan to shake this Monday’s blues off by devouring a Bengali book I’ve been enjoying Shera Satyajit and as soon as I came to this resolution the cab stopped right in front of my office.

Guess what! I actually was 15 minutes late to office!

An era of I want it & I want it now!

I was going through some old albums and with it came a big bout of nostalgia! The times that we call the simpler times were in fact not so simple. They were a different sort of complicated but definitely not simple.

I remember one thing quite clearly though… Those were the times of immense patience and understanding. The monthly rations had to wait till the salary was credited, the new dresses had to wait for Durga Pujo, Diwali, or birthdays… looking at pictures had to wait till the roll was over and developed in a photo studio and life consisted of many more such bitter sweet ‘waits’.

Today I shop with a click, order food with a tap, take pictures anywhere, upload them instantly and it’s right there. The thrill of waiting, and the virtue of patience is long lost. Things are mere things today and I miss the charm of those wonderful experiences.

This is a world of instant gratification…with just distant memories of a glorious past which we call today as the simpler times!

I am not a grammar Nazi

There are many that use this expression as either a compliment or a complaint. Some use it for themselves with pride, others with derision. But this is a term that is being used quite frequently these days.

I wonder sometimes about its origin. The word Nazi…can there ever be a positive way to use it in today’s world? When we are vying for political correctness all the time, when we are trying not to be offensive, we’re still using the term Nazi as a compliment, sometimes awarded by others and at other times self acclaimed.

Frankly it has often been thrust upon me and the only thing I felt then was a deep sense of discomfort. I might like to read or speak a language correctly, and once in a while correct others, sometimes publicly, but is that a sin comparable to the heinous acts of Nazis?

I’d just say, am not a grammar Nazi, it’s probably just an occupational hazard.

What’s the rush?

As I woke up to a Shubho Nababarsha (Happy New Year – Bengali), I thought about what the day means to me. And I realized, it will be just another day of staring at the computer. Trying to get work done, some mundane odd jobs at home and largely just another day. When I called people of the parents’ generation, there was a marked difference. They were excited, had plans and satisfied. It made me wonder, what’s going on with us? What’s the rush?


We rush, rush to get up before the maid rings the bell. We rush, rush to get the breakfast on the table. We rush, rush to pack up the lunch. We rush, rush to get dressed. We rush…


We rush, rush to get fatter bank accounts. We rush, rush to complete the checklists. We rush, rush to meet deadlines. We rush, rush to reach our goals. We rush, rush to the myriad meetings. We rush…


In all this rush and all the hooha about earning for a living, when do we begin living?


We forget, it is a festival today. We forget, it is a special day. We forget, we have a family waiting for us at home. We forget, for whom we rush. We forget…